Learn how to shoot for fun and profit

Learn how to shoot for fun and profit

I’ve been reading food, design and craft blogs and sites for a long time, pretty much since the whole concept evolved. If I had to chose one single thing that will predict the popularity of a food, design or craft blog, it would be the quality of the photography.

I am not saying that design, usability and quality writing don’t count, they do, but we buy design magazines and read design blogs mostly for the eye candy.

Learn how to shoot for fun and profit

Sometimes I am reading a well-written post by a talented blogger who has created an interesting thing and I can hear the voice in the back of my head that says “it could use a better photo”.  In the interest of shutting up that little voice, I thought of giving my fellow bloggers a few simple tips to improve their photos.

I am not going to explain what “aperture” means, or suggest to upgrade. Not right now, anyway. It will be more along the line of “step back”, or “take it outside”. A point-and-shoot, and free online software can do wonders if you use them right.

Learn how to shoot for fun and profit

I know there are thousands of sites with excellent tutorials, I am glad they exist, I’ve learned a trick or fifty from some of them. In fact, I am going to suggest other sites where you can learn more, should you wish, but you are reading my blog now, so I am just hoping to wake up your interest.

Another important thing is to clarify my credentials, or lack thereof: I am not a photographer. I don’t even play one on TV.

Learn how to shoot for fun and profit

I studied Industrial Design, and yet I would not even dare calling myself one. I hung my T-ruler back when… well, when people still used T-rulers. I have only taken a few real photography lessons in my whole life, but my main source of knowledge have been my camera manuals, reading till my eyes bleed, and lots and lots of shots. The pros have a term for people like me: “shutter monkey”.

Pass the banana.

With that out of the way, I’ve made a lot of photography for ad campaigns, I have been paid for photos for books and publications with subjects ranging from “plastic surgery and feminism” to latino food for a Russian publication, and work with 3 of the biggest, most prestigious photo agencies. In my professional life I mostly stick to a very small niche: food photography.

Learn how to shoot for fun and profit

I’ve received a few questions from commenters, and readers who have emailed me, asking what equipment I use. I think what they really mean is to ask how I got a photo that looks like that. Sure, most of my own photos can use improvement, a lot in fact, and should I get paid to do it I probably put some more work into them; but I am not, so I won’t. Quick and easy is how I usually do it, this blog is just something I am doing for fun.

So, what do you think, would you be interested in the occasional post about photography? Say the word and  I’ll start shooting.

Aunt Clara
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{ 32 comments… add one }

  • Shannon Santana January 31, 2013, 3:00 AM

    YES I love photography

  • Sandra Paez October 10, 2012, 4:34 PM

    Yes, please.

  • nykegodess October 9, 2010, 6:08 PM

    Yes, please!! The first thing that came to my head when I found you blog is AWESOME pictures! I would love to take better pictures, like some poster said, reading the manual is soooo boring, lol.Can't wait!

  • d+s October 4, 2010, 11:23 PM

    I've just discovered your blog and love it already – I just bought myself a digital SLR so would love it if you wrote more on photography. Do you think you could share some of the books and sites that you have used to help you with using your camera (and taking better pictures)? Googling just brings up so many random sites that it's hard to work out which are the ones worth reading!H

  • Abby September 29, 2010, 12:54 PM

    Fire away, Clara, photography tips are always welcome!

  • Rubyred September 28, 2010, 6:30 AM

    Yes please! You take such wonderful photos! I know I should study the manual more, but it's so boring!Can't wait!Rachel x

  • Jolie September 27, 2010, 12:09 AM

    Yes Please!!! i am trying to *move beyond automatic* and sometimes I think the new photos are worst that the old fully automatic ones, because I don't really know what I'm doing – any and all help is definitely appreciated!

  • Stacey September 26, 2010, 11:07 PM

    That would be fabulous! I've just recently discovered your blog, and your photography is just outstanding. I'd love to learn a few tips!I'm a graphic designer, and being able to take decent shots of my work would be so beneficial to me!

  • Anji* September 26, 2010, 2:42 PM

    Yes please Clara! Your photos are always beautiful, and I could definitely use some help in that area, I always soak up photography tips from fellow bloggers who are not pros – they are the most helpful kind!

  • kadi September 25, 2010, 7:11 PM

    I'm not a blogger but better looking photos for my own personal albums would be wonderful.I once showed your Flickr thumbnails to my bf and said 'I just love love her blog, look at the pretty pictures of turquoise, white and green!!' The same pops of color we have in our apartment.Thank you so much for everything you write! :)

  • Estee September 25, 2010, 3:47 PM

    Yes please!

  • Aunt_Clara September 25, 2010, 2:34 AM

    Oy! Thanks peeps! I had this post written for a long time, but I had my doubts that anyone wanted to "hear" me blabber about yet another subject. I hope I didn't paint myself into a corner. Nah! I'll have fun and so will you.I already have the first post half-written, so you should see it sometime next week.Susan, you are right. It is understandable if somebody doesn't want to make the investment of effort and time to improve their personal blogs, after all, it's our blogs, whatever we want goes. But for people that sell their stuff, good photos might be the difference between a customer choosing their fare or somebody else's. I know it is something that absolutely draws me to an item in particular.

  • Iraida September 25, 2010, 2:21 AM

    Yes!!! I need to take better pix of my daughters.. I always see yours look so perfect. so yes, yes, YES!

  • Lyndsey September 25, 2010, 2:42 AM

    yes please!

  • Susan September 24, 2010, 10:16 PM

    Yes please! Although the camera does make a difference, the photographer is the most important aspect in getting a shot right. I totally agree with you about photos in blog posts, and I also do the same when looking at ebay listings – people have no idea that great photography will get them so much more $ at the end of the auction.Your blog is beautiful! Thanks for letting me read :)

  • Kim September 24, 2010, 9:51 PM


  • Sumi September 24, 2010, 7:49 PM

    Absolutely and positively yes!

  • Anonymous September 24, 2010, 7:43 PM


  • The Wild Gardener September 24, 2010, 7:23 PM

    Yes!! Just purchased my first DSLR & want to take it to the max—–uhhhhhh, or at least learn how to use it out of auto mode! Thnx for offering to do this!

  • bekah September 24, 2010, 5:27 PM

    Yes I would love to read more about photography. Your pictures are what got me hooked to your blog:)

  • Weedwacker September 24, 2010, 1:24 PM

    Yes, please! I love photography, but need to learn more about it.Good quality photos are so important, and I'm always looking to improve mine.

  • AllyRJones September 24, 2010, 5:20 PM

    I'd love that! :)

  • Kokeshette September 24, 2010, 5:10 PM

    I love the beautiful pictures you take to show us your home and your crafts. I also like photography even if I don't take enough time to improve my skills. So, I would love to hear your advices on this subject !

  • Chiri September 24, 2010, 12:39 PM

    Great post – another vote from me.

  • Anonymous September 24, 2010, 2:42 PM

    I would love it if you did some post about photography. I think you have done and excelent job with your pictures. I would be estatic if I could take a picture like that.

  • Vicky September 24, 2010, 2:16 PM

    YESYESYESYESYES! I am soon going to start my own blog, so photography lessons would be awesome. :) Thank you so much (should you actually decide to start writing about taking pictures and sharing your wisdom with us)!

  • Welmoed September 24, 2010, 2:13 PM

    Please do… I'm always trying to improve my photography. I have a nice camera and some lenses, but need to learn how best to use them.

  • Efrutik September 24, 2010, 2:07 PM

    Absolutely! In fact I'm already anxious to find out what more you have to say on the subject. This would be beyond helpful and very generous of you. Yes, yes, yes, yes, please start shooting!

  • Urbanstems September 24, 2010, 2:04 PM

    Clara..the word is YES please. What a great post!

  • Bia September 24, 2010, 1:04 PM

    Yes! looking forward to the posts:))

  • BTLover2 September 24, 2010, 12:36 PM

    I would love them!

  • Anonymous September 24, 2010, 12:17 PM